Inauguration of new organ at Christ Church

Event Information

Christ Church, Episcopal (5th Avenue & 35th St.)

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
7 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

07 Jun 1865, Evening

Program Details

Performers also included an unnamed lady amateur who sang “Ave Maria.”

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Guglielmo Tell; William Tell; Introduction
Composer(s): Rossini
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
aka Fantasia on national airs
Composer(s): Morgan
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
Composer(s): Lefébure-Wély
Participants:  George Washbourne Morgan
aka Ye merry birds that sweetly sing; Ye pretty birds
Composer(s): Gumbert
Composer(s): Unknown composer
Participants:  C. H. [tenor] Henry
Composer(s): Gounod


Review: New York Post, 08 June 1865, 8.

     Description of the organ, same as NYH

Review: New York Herald, 10 June 1865, 2.

     “One of Erben’s first class ten thousand dollar organs . . . was opened on Wednesday evening by those celebrated artists William A. king and George W. Morgan.  The church was crowded to excess by one of the finest audiences ever assembled in the city.  It is very seldom that such a musical treat is offered to the public, embracing a splendid organ, the two best organists in the country, and some first class vocal music; and that no doubt was the occasion for the great rush for tickets—over eleven hundred being received at the door.  As to the entertainment, Mr. King’s opening symphony, No. 2, by Beethoven, was specially to be admired.  Although, perhaps, not as well calculated to please a miscellaneous audience as the more popular themes of the day, the masterly style in which it was rendered was duly appreciated by those competent to judge of its merits.  He also played the overture to ‘Lestocq,’ by Auber.  It is a very excellent composition, and was splendidly performed.  But the crowning gem of the evening was Mr. King’s ‘Fantasie on themes for solo stops,’ &c., in which he introduced successfully every stop throughout the entire range of this immense instrument.  It is here that Mr. King excels every other performer.  Place him before a good organ, with nothing but his own original musical genius to work from, and he plays, as it were, by inspiration.  All his selections were highly commended, and received with well deserved applause.  Mr. Morgan performed the overture to William Tell, which was well received.  Also his celebrated ‘Variations on National Airs,’ the entire audience rising en masse when he played the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’  His pedal action was the finest ever heard, and even Morgan seemed to excel himself.  He also played an offertoire,  by Wely, very finely.  The lady artists who assisted on the occasion were Miss A. Belden, the soprano of the church, and a lady amateur, being her first appearance in public.  They were both in excellent voice, and sung splendidly.  Mr. C. H. Henry, the tenor of the church, also added his magnificent voice, and was well received.  As to the organ, it is of the largest class, with three full sets of keys and two and half octaves of pedals.  The great organ has twelve stops, choir organ ten stops, swell organ eleven stops pedal organ five stops, and there are nine coupling and composition stops.  There are six sixteen feet stops, nineteen eight feet stops, and seven reed stops—vox, trumpet, clarion, bassoon, cremona, hautboy, cornopeon, and the pedal trombone of sixteen feet.  It has in all fifty stops and two thousand and thirty seven pipes.”
[Followed by another paragraph on the design of the organ.]

Review: New-York Times, 13 June 1865, 3.

     Detail regarding construction of the organ.  The organ is an American one.  The online version of the article is almost impossible to read.